Essential Tools for A2s
The Qbox is one of the most valued tools in my kit. With the Qbox you can verify if DC voltage is present on an IFB, phantom mic, and intercom circuit. The speaker allows you to hear what is present on an XLR or TRS line; you can test a problematic line at each connection until you find the fault. With the tone generator, you can send a signal back to the audio console to identify pairs. With the split/ connect XLR switch, you can use the Qbox as a cable tester; with an XLR cable plugged into both XLRs on the Qbox, send tone from the source and monitor pin-2 then pin-3 with the speaker. If you hear tone on both pins, you can be confident that you have a good XLR cable. Note: The Qbox will not identify a cable that is wired out of phase.
Even with the best memory, it is important to label mult-boxes and belt-packs.
Be able to cut rope or turn a screw when needed.
A bit more efficient than the multi-tool. Helpful fo opening BP 325 intercom beltpacks.
Four-In-One Mini Screwdriver
This is a good tool for setting the dip switches on a BP 325 intercom beltpack.
I/O Panels in prewired venues can be nestled under the bleachers or underneath a stairwell. A bright flashlight will help avoid mis-patching your show. In addition to a good flashlight, you might consider packing a headlamp in your kit. Many entertainment shows keep the venue dark pre-show to allow the LD to work. A headlamp with multiple beam patterns is best; flood for close work and spot for distance.
Quickly test cables before they are run. This is helpful when running long XLR cables. Know the cable works before it is run.
– Battery Tester
Set the multimeter to measure DC Volts in the voltage range of a battery in question and you have a battery tester. Batteries are considered dead when they are 60% of their original new voltage. This means that a AA battery that starts out at 1.5 volts DC will be considered dead at 0.8 volts. A 9-volt battery will be considered dead at 5.4 volts. Batteries show signs of weakness at around 80%; that is 1.2 volts for AA batteries and 7.2 volts for 9-volt batteries.
– Cable Tester
Set the multimeter to test for continuity. Continuity is a complete path for electrical current flow. This will test for broken lines in cables.
– Circuit Tester
Set the meter to AC and range that you are testing to verify a power circuit is working
Fiber Optic Tools
J-Deal TL510C Hand-held Optical Power Meter + TL532 50mW Visual Fault Locator Fiber Optic Cable Tester Meter for CATV CCTV Telecommunications Engineering Maintenance Cabling System